Serene refuge for wildlife and urban dwellers
HIGHLIGHTS: Anthony Chabot Regional Park is a 3,314-acre greenbelt that provides a near-wilderness experience mere minutes from the largest cities in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay. A centerpiece property of the East Bay Regional Park District, Chabot offers a wide array of recreational opportunities. Its diverse habitats, redwood groves among them, constitute a haven for wildlife. Chabot supports an impressive number of charismatic species, including black-tailed deer, coyote, bobcat, gray fox and cougar. Birds are abundant, and the park is a favorite venue for local birders during the fall and spring songbird migrations. Further, Chabot is a refuge for people as much as wildlife. Its serenity and natural splendor allow visitors to decompress after negotiating the rigors and stresses of the Bay Area’s intensely urban landscapes.
ACTIVITIES: Hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and camping are popular. Excellent angling is available at adjacent Lake Chabot Regional Park.
VISITOR CENTER: None.
CAMPGROUNDS: Camping is a major activity at Chabot. The park has 53 drive-in tent campsites, 10 walk-in campsites, and 12 RV/trailer sites with full utility hook-ups. Each site has a picnic table and fire-ring, and restrooms have hot showers. The park also has seven group camps with capacities ranging from 35 to 300 campers. Equestrian camping is permitted at Bort Meadow Group Camp. Backpack camping is allowed at the Two Rocks site for groups of up to 10 people.
TRAILS: Anthony Chabot Regional Park has 70 miles of trails, accommodating hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. The East Bay Skyline National Trail, a 31-mile route through the East Bay Hills from Richmond to Castro Valley, traverses the length of the park, and a six-mile section of the Chabot-to-Garin Regional Trail connects the park to the Cull Canyon Regional Trail.
MUST-SEE UNIQUE FEATURE OR SEASONAL HIGHLIGHT: Near the intersection with the Brittleleaf Trail, the MacDonald Trail passes a meadow that supports a perfect circle of 200-foot-tall redwoods. The trees grew from scions that sprouted from the remains of an old-growth redwood that was logged in the 1800s. The stump has long since vanished; the “fairy ring” of redwoods is all that remains of the former giant.
The park’s grasslands and oak savannas also support spectacular wildflower displays during the spring.
HIDDEN GEM: Lookout Ridge on the Two Rocks Trail offers great views of San Francisco Bay.
FEATURES ACCESSIBLE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Some campsites, picnic areas and restrooms.
DOGS: Allowed on-leash in developed areas, and permitted off-leash on most trails if under voice control.
ENTRANCE FEE: None.
SPECIAL EVENTS: Park naturalists conduct campfire programs at the campground amphitheater on Saturday evenings from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Numerous other programs and events are held throughout the year. Go to the district’s activities calendar for details.
MORE INFORMATION: Call 888-327-2757, option 3, extension 4502, or go to the park’s webpage for information.
Places to Eat and Stay: Sparky’s Giant Burgers in Oakland is a favorite eatery among park rangers and staffers. Recommended hotels in Oakland include the Waterfront Hotel; The Marriott; and the Washington Inn.
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